No. 290 . 07 June 2006 
ArchitectureWeek
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Endangered America

by ArchitectureWeek

The National Trust for Historic Preservation announced in May its 2006 list of the 11 "Most Endangered Historic Places" in the United States. These buildings have been damaged or threatened by hurricanes, terrorists, development pressures, or simple neglect. The organization issues this list to bring public attention to heritage structures that might be preserved if rescued in time.

National Trust president Richard Moe stated: "The sites on this year's 11 Most Endangered list embody the diversity and complexity of America's story, and the variety of threats that endanger it. Ranging from flood-ravaged communities to the staircase used by World Trade Center survivors, these places are enormously important to our understanding of who we are as a nation and a people."

Rescue work on two buildings from last year's Most Endangered list has already begun: the Ennis House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, damaged in a 1994 earthquake, and Finca Vigia, Ernest Hemingway's home in Cuba, in danger of deterioration.

In many cases, such protection depends on a public awareness of the historic significance of a structure. This can be particularly challenging when the buildings are "too new" to be considered historic by casual observers. For instance, the Doo Wop Motels in the resort town of Wildwood, New Jersey are a product of the 1950s, not venerated enough to be safe from the wrecking ball.   >>>

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